Sunday, December 6, 2015

IT News Head Lines (Overclockers Club) 07/12/2015

Overclockers Club

PowerColor PCS+ R9 380X Myst Edition Review

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Swift Programming Language Now Open Source
Swift is the programming language used by Apple for development on iOS and OS X software, a language that drew inspiration from "Objective-C, Rust, Haskell, Ruby, Python, C#, CLU, and far too many others to list." The company announced that it would remove the proprietary nature of the language at WWDC 2015 and has now officially Open Sourced Swift under the Apache license. This license "allows developers the ability to use the software for any purpose and to distribute their own modified versions of the software without paying royalties to Apple," and by making the language Open Source it "could lead to rapid expansion of its use and functionality in software development."
Source: Apple Insider

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Hardware Roundup: Friday, December 4, 2015, Edition
The end of the week is here at last, with some items for you to check out before you start the weekend. We kick things off with a look at the Acer Predator X34 monitor, a curved 34" monitor featuring NVIDIA G-Sync and a 100Hz refresh rate. There's a review of the Cheero Power Plus 3 13400mAh Portable Charger, so if you're ever low on juice somewhere, this can help you out. A new case mod is highlighted that forgoes a typical case and packs everything into a custom built desk. We end things with a podcast looking back at the latest news and reviews from the past week.

Acer Predator X34 @ TechSpot

Cheero Power Plus 3 13400mAh Portable Charger @ ThinkComputers

Case Mod Friday: Ultimate Custom Desk PC @ ThinkComputers

Podcast #377 @ PC Perspective

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Beast Master Feature Revealed for Far Cry Primal
Back in October Ubisoft unveiled the upcoming Far Cry Primal by gradually revealing a cave painting. Now it has revealed one of the game's feature aptly named Beast Master. With this feature, the player will be able to tame the game's various predators, include sabretooth tigers and the honey badger. Once tamed the animals can be summoned to help in combat and assist in taking back Oros,
In addition to this announcement, the Deluxe Edition with SteelBook for North America has also been detailed. Its physical content includes the game, the exclusive SteelBook, a map of Oros, the game's setting, and the official soundtrack. On the digital side it will include all of the Legend of the Mammoth missions, which add almost 45 minutes to the game, four enhancement packs, and the Blood Shasti Club, an unbreakable weapon that cannot be consumed by fire.
Far Cry Primal releases for the Xbox One and Playstation 4 on February 23, and on March 1 for Windows.

Source: Press Release and Official Game Site
Beast Master Feature Revealed for Far Cry PrimalBeast Master Feature Revealed for Far Cry PrimalBeast Master Feature Revealed for Far Cry PrimalBeast Master Feature Revealed for Far Cry Primal

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Improving Medical X-Rays with Kinect
We have known for a long time that sometimes a product can take on new and amazing possibilities it was not originally designed for thanks to creative users. The Kinect from Microsoft is an excellent example of this as the motion tracking system was original meant for the Xbox 360, but has also been used with robots. Now the Kinect could find itself in hospitals as a means to improve X-ray precision, thanks to researchers at Washington University in St. Louis.
Medical X-rays involve aiming firing the high energy photons at a person's body and capturing them on the other side, to see what they hit along the way. To do this properly the thickness of the patient's body needs to be known and the patient needs to be in the right position. If the patient happens to be a child, these criteria can be hard to meet as body thickness can vary greatly across children of all ages, and some may not want to hold still. Using special software, the Kinect is able to track where the patient's body is before taking the X-ray and is also able to measure body thickness.
By using the Kinect to improve X-rays it will be possible to reduce exposure to the radiation, as fewer images will need to be taken. So far all of the work has been done with the Kinect 1.0, but thanks to new funding this year, the researchers intend to continue their work and update it to use Microsoft Kinect 2.0.
Source: Washington University in St. Louis

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Various CPU Coolers Are Likely Damaging Intel Skylake CPUs
Owners of Intel Skylake processors have begun reporting that their CPUs are being damaged, apparently due to the CPU coolers that are being utilized within system builds. This is due to the substrate on Skylake processors being thinner than that of previous generations, though Intel is claiming that Skylake CPUs still feature the same 50 pound maximum static load as prior generations. Various manufacturers of CPU coolers for Skylake products have publically noted that while their products may be compatible with socket 1151, the mounting pressure as well as the weight of the coolers may potentially cause damage, especially during shipping. Scythe, for example, has revealed that while its mounting system is compatible with Skylake sockets, it is providing owners of its Ashura, Mugen 4, Mugen 4 PCGH-Edition, Fuma, Ninja 4, Grand Kama Cross 4, Mugen Max, and Kotetsu products with a new set of screws that reduces overall mounting pressure, decreasing the risk of damage.
Intel is currently investigating the reports of damaged Skylake CPUs caused by CPU coolers, but did note that it does not test third-party cooling solutions and simply provides vendors with specifications guidelines that they are supposed to follow.
Source: Tom's Hardware

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GeForce 359.12 Hotfix Notebook Driver Released by NVIDIA
Although NVIDIA just released its Game Ready 359.06 WHQL driver for Just Cause 3 and Rainbow Six Siege two days ago, the company has just made available the GeForce 359.12 hotfix notebook driver. The hotfix driver is nearly identical to version 359.06 of the Game Ready driver, but contains fixes that help to mitigate game crashes for GeForce GTX 860M mobile GPU owners. The quick release of the GeForce 359.12 hotfix notebook driver shows NVIDIA’s commitment to its user base, something that AMD has also shown recently with its Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.11.1 that acted as a hotfix for its users.
Interested GeForce GTX 860M mobile GPU owners can download the GeForce 359.12 hotfix notebook driver, which does not offer WHQL certification, from the official GeForce driver website.
Source: TechPowerUp

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Wearable Sensor Made from Nanotubes and Chewing Gum
Today it is not uncommon for us to walk around with sensors on our bodies that record steps, monitor heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and more. Many of these sensors are relatively rigid though, which can limit their usefulness, so researchers are working on stretchable sensors. As reported in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces a team of researchers have created a new sensor from chewing gum and nanotubes.
Previous work on stretchable and flexible sensors looked to plastics, but while these materials were flexible they were not very sensitive. The new chewing gum sensor however does not suffer such a trade-off. It was made by first chewing the gum for 30 minutes, washing it with ethanol, and then letting it sit overnight. The next day carbon nanotubes were added, which act as the actual sensing material, and by pulling and folding the gum, the nanotubes were aligned. When tested the sensor demonstrated high sensitivity even at a strain of 530% and the researchers found it could detect water humidity changes, which could be applied to track breathing.

Source: American Chemical Society

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Hardware Roundup: Thursday, December 3, 2015, Edition
The third day of December is here, with several items along the way to help you pass the time. We have a review on the ASUS Maximus VIII Gene motherboard, a compact ROG model that still packs in plenty of features for the mATX crowd. If you want something even smaller than mATX, we have a look at the SilverStone Raven RVZ02 Mini-ITX case, a super slim case that can fit a full-size video card. For those wanting some new storage options, there's a guide covering the best SSDs, HDDs, NAS, and more. The Audiofly AF45 In-Ear Headphones get put to the test to see how this budget-friendly option performs. Wrapping things up is a review on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, the company's latest giant phone/tablet.

ASUS Maximus VIII Gene @ PC Perspective

SilverStone Raven RVZ02 Mini-ITX @ Benchmark Reviews
Storage/Hard Drives

Best in Storage: Solid State, HDD, Home NAS and More @ TechSpot

Audiofly AF45 In-Ear Headphones @ ThinkComputers

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 @ LanOC Reviews

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New Form of Carbon Discovered with Unusual Properties
Carbon is an element that just keeps on giving as its various forms possess some wild properties. Diamond is among the hardest natural elements, while graphite is very soft, and graphene has amazing electrical properties. Now Q-carbon has been discovered by researchers at North Carolina State University with its own curious set of characteristics, and provides an avenue to make diamonds at room temperature and pressure.
Creating Q-carbon is surprisingly simple, as all it takes is a laser pulse about 200 nanoseconds long being fired at amorphous carbon on a substrate like sapphire, glass, or a plastic polymer. This laser pulse heats the carbon to 4000 K, and it then rapidly cools forming films of Q-carbon that can be between 20 nm and 500 nm thick. Surprisingly it is ferromagnetic, which the researchers did not think was possible, harder than diamond, and has a low work function, meaning it will release electrons easily. In fact the material glows when exposed to low levels of energy.
By changing how fast the carbon cools, the researchers found they could also build small diamond structures, like nano- and microneedles, nanodots, and larger films, within the Q-carbon. While Q-carbon may appear to be superior to diamond, we do not know all of its properties yet, while diamond is well understood, so this simple way of producing diamond is still a significant discovery. The laser used to create both the Q-carbon and diamond is comparable to that used in laser eye surgery, so the process to make the materials is pretty inexpensive.
Source: North Carolina State University

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Available Tags:Hardware , Kinect , CPU Cooler , CPU , Intel , GeForce , Notebook , Driver , NVIDIA

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